Bengaluru / Mandya: Even as it faced an upsurge of protests in the Cauvery basin districts of Mandya and Mysuru over the release of water to Tamil Nadu, the state government decided to play it safe rather than invite the wrath of the apex court by releasing the stipulated 15,000 cusecs of water daily to the neighbouring state over the next 10 days.
Speaking to the media after a marathon three-hour meeting with leaders of all parties including MPs and MLAs, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, "It is constitutionally not possible to defy the order of the Apex Court. With a heavy heart, we have decided to release water to Tamil Nadu."
With the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin having around 50 tmcft water, the release of water to TN over the next ten days would take away as much as 13tmcft, leaving the state struggling to meet the drinking water needs of districts in the Old Mysuru region including Bengaluru. The CM is hopeful that if Karnataka complies with the apex court order now, it would help the state's case when its main petition comes up for hearing on October 18.
The government has also decided to file a modification petition before the Supreme Court seeking to modify its order dated September 5, 2016 wherein it had ordered Karnataka to release water. Opposing the decision of the government to release water to TN, opposition BJP and JD(S) leaders walked out from the meeting.
Meanwhile, pro-Kannada outfits have called for a Karnataka bandh on Friday (September 9) to protest against the release of water to TN. Explaining the stance the state took in the apex court, Mr Siddaramaiah said the legal team headed by Fali Nariman submitted that Karnataka can release 10,000 cusecs water per day for six days which was increased by the court to 15,000 cusecs for 10 days.
Buses cancelled, movies go off screens, Mandya on edge
Police, fearing violence against the large Tamil population in the city, stepped up security where Tamils congregate, after several Kannada organisations called for a statewide bandh on Friday September 9, as anger over the Supreme Court verdict on Cauvery favouring Tamil Nadu affected bus services between the two states with a KSRTC bus set on fire at Salem in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.KSRTC cancelled 700 buses to Mysuru, Mandya, Ooty and several parts of Tamil Nadu.
Protests erupted in the state capital Bengaluru and across the state, especially near the KRS Dam in Mandya as Kannada outfits held flash protests in Marathahalli, Hosur Road and Mysuru Road affecting the traffic flow along two major IT corridors and between Mysuru and Bengaluru.
Protesters blackened Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil’s name board at his house in Sadashivnagar, while others daubed black paint over Tamil Nadu buses parked at the Mysuru Road Satellite terminus. The screening of Tamil movies was stopped at several theatres across the state and city. Agitators clashed with the police in front of Vidhan Soudha and were taken into preventive custody....